Apple may have officially unveiled the Apple Watch last fall, but there’s still a lot we don’t know about what the final product will look like.
There are rumors that some of the most ambitious features, such as a heart-rate monitor and on-board electrocardiogram (EKG) technology, had to be scrapped because they didn’t work well in real-world tests. And we don’t know much about the Apple Watch Edition, the high-end model clad in 18-karat gold – including what its price will be. (Speculation has run from $5,000 all the way up to $20,000.)
The Apple Watch will certainly be the focus of the “Spring Forward” event. Apple is likely to share details about the construction and function of the wearable, and to have plenty of on-stage demonstrations of its niftiest features. When the watch was first unveiled, Apple caught some flak for the “digital crown” – some commentators speculated aloud that it might be a complicated way of controlling apps or navigating features. The “Spring Forward” event is Apple’s chance to show that the Watch won’t have a learning curve, and will be easy to pick up and use.
Apple will certainly show off some new apps that have been specially designed to work with the Apple Watch. We’ll probably also see some svelte watch bands from well-known designers. Apple might also announce an accessories program for the watch, whereby third-party manufacturers could make extra attachments to extend the range of what the Apple Watch can do.
The company has already promised that the wristwatch will ship in April, but chief executive Tim Cook will give an exact date, and detailed release information, at the event. He might also take the opportunity to give details on iOS 8.2, the update to Apple’s mobile operating system that will allow iPhones and iPads to talk to the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch will be the star of the “Spring Forward” event, but it might not be the only product discussed. Persistent rumors suggest that Apple may announce an update to the MacBook Air, which would be thinner and with a better screen. A related rumor suggests that this new MacBook might have only one port – a USB Type-C connector – plus a headphone jack. The computer would charge, power a display, and transfer data all through one port. (You’d have to get an adapter to be able to do more than one of those things at a time, but such a design would allow the laptop itself to be awfully thin and light.)
We probably won’t see a larger iPad on Monday. That device is almost certainly in the works, but it isn’t expected to be announced until later this year. And Apple isn’t likely to release details on its new Beats/iTunes streaming music service until the summer. But between the Apple Watch and, potentially, a brand-new MacBook Air, Apple observers should have plenty to talk about after the event.